I’d like to tell you about someone. Her name was Louise. She was my friend and I loved her. She passed away Saturday unexpectedly. She was 42 years old. She was a wife, a mother to three gorgeous kids, a teacher, and my friend. She was so many things to so many people but I would like to tell you what she meant to me.
I met Louise when she student taught at the school where I teach. She was funny, vivacious, and fun. We became friends when I started teaching science and computers. We ended up on a tech committee together. We found out we had daughters who were the same age. But it wasn’t those things we had in common that drew me to her. It was the things that made her unique that really pulled me in.
She was so kind to everyone. She always gave the benefit of the doubt. Me? Yeah, I am not a huge fan of second chances, but Louise would give you five or ten chances to get it right. She was never mean or malicious.
She was funny. Louise was hilarious. Her sense of humor cracked me up nearly everyday. She would text me funny pictures, funny observations, and random things. I would do the same. Even now I see something funny I reach for my phone to share it with her. I hope she is watching because I have seen some funny crap in the last day or so.
She knew how to have a good time. Louise was the first up on the dance floor. She never worried about what she looked like. She was always into having a good time. She would try just about anything. You could find her running or kayaking or making cards or scrapbooking. She would do just about anything. When I told her I would not Zumba, she joined me in Boot camp and spin class. When I told her I like to make cards, she came over and made them with me. She shared my very unnatural and embarrassing love of the twilight movies. We saw them all- together. And then made fun of ourselves for it over and over again.
She was a whirlwind. It was something hard for me to get because I like to sit and contemplate and just be. Louise was always on the go. Always had something going on, somewhere to be, and something to do. She never looked stressed about it either. I would tell, “Sheesh, take a break already!” She said she was enjoying it. Her cellphone was always full of emails and texts. I’d see her phone on the table and there would be 35 text messages (UNREAD!) and I’d feel panicked! She’d just laugh. It was one of those things I never understood but loved about her.
She’d always help. I told her I wanted to start a PTO at our school. She looked at me like I was crazy and then agreed to be the Vice President. I told her I wanted to host a huge ice cream social fundraiser. She shook her head and then agreed to find me a D.J. a bounce house, and a dunk tank. I said wouldn’t it be awesome if we did a book faire and she said, “Fine I will chair it once.” She chaired it every year. I said I needed a classroom to experiment on for a project. She volunteered hers. Need someone to watch your insane dog? Louise was your girl. She came to my house 5x a day watching that stupid mutt, cleaning up all his accidents, and still being good-natured about it. She even did the laundry. I was getting all these text messages with updates on the dog and all his drama and I knew she had a million other things to do. But she was the kind of friend you could always count on. If she said, she would be there- she was there.
She wore her heart on her sleeve. I am a pretty buttoned up person. I tend to put on a hard front and keep my marshmallow heart stuffed way down inside, but Weezie always had her marshmallow heart on display. She loved big. Sometimes that made things hard on her because she was always giving and giving. Some people just don’t get the whole love big thing. She would always tell me, “Thanks for being my friend”. I would always say, “You don’t need to thank me, of course you’re my friend.” It took me a long time to realize she was telling me that because she meant it not because she was insecure or needed reassurance. The last time I saw her, the afternoon before she passed, she said to me, “Thanks for being my friend.” And as usual I said, “Of course, I am your friend.” And she said, “No, really, Thank You.” And I wish I had said, “I am honored to be your friend.” But I didn’t. Instead I gave her a big hug and a kiss on the head and told her I would see her soon. Of course, that never happened. I hope she knew that I was so very thankful she was my friend.